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Reverence

Dr. Paul Farmer, the co-founder of Partners in Health, describes in his book called “Mountains Beyond Mountains” that the problem with our society is that we tend to think that some lives are more important than others. Similar stories are known about other great souls such as Mahatma Gandhi who had as much reverence for an untouchable as for a brahmin.

 

Our genuine power lies in having reverence where we see oneness of the entire life force. Reverence is difference than respect – respect for someone arises when we judge them positively for their skillset. Reverence does not judge; it arises from seeing no differentiation in any life form at the internal level.

 

If we have reverence for all life, we live from the “win-win” thought process for all sides instead of working from the place of creating winners and losers. We see this in our societies where we strive for our success at the expense of others.

 

So, what exactly is reverence for life? In my simple mind, reverence for life is to honor the same life force that exists in all of us including animals, plants, and minerals. Reverence is looking beyond our exterior appearance which perishes at the time of death. How often in our culture, we kill bugs and flies as their lives do not matter? All lives are here for a reason. The cycles of birth and death are not random. We are born because our soul or the life force has something more to learn to go beyond its current state of development.

 

A Buddhist teaching asks if we have looked at our partner with the eyes of the Buddha. That is reverence! How can one harm a life, when one looks at another life with the eyes of the Buddha? When one starts understanding and implementing these concepts, his or her soul is evolving further. This is the next step towards increasing our genuine power.

 

Reverence strengthens kindness, love, patience, and non-judgement where all life is considered holy. 

 

May we all see oneness of all life!

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